Let's face it. We interact with our cars on a different level than for example, a Dodge Caravan owner. The Dodge Caravan drivers appreciate their car for it's 3rd row stow away seats, it's washable vomit proof interior, and it's push button soft close tailgate. The Caravan, never detailed, never seen premium fuel, with it's dials never pointed at triple digit speeds, will never make a fuzz. A routine maintenance at your local Bob Joe's Chrysler dealership, and the occasional set of Pirelli P-schoolrun, is all the child friendly Caravan longs for. Like an old Labrador, she'll be your loyal friend, protect your family, and happily, unobtrusively, sit around.
But you're an Alexotics reader and the thought of driving a minivan makes your manly hood cringe. You'd rather juggle two cats and a baby, while tip-toeing on a stepladder, trying to nudge and unfold the rear bench in your big child unfriendly SUV, than be caught buying a much more practical but lifeless mini van. The thought of an 8-speed flex fuel stop-start, biodegradable, government incentive priced minivan is enough to drive a true car enthusiast to tears. Relocating to the top of a mountain, or simply having fewer kids, are some of the things we'd consider in order to be excused from owning a minivan.
We love cars, and we can't help it. We buy a BMW Z4 because we dream of cruising B-roads with the top down. We buy a V12 E-type because we fantasize staring down that endless bonnet. We crave a Lamborghini Aventador as we imagine the goosebumps we'd get from the growl of it's single centered exhaust pipe. When buying a car, we'll check for bucket seats before we open the boot to check for trunk space. We are car enthusiasts, we buy the cars that keep us awake at night, and love them unconditionally.
With this unconditional love come peculiar habits. I'd like to see the Dodge Caravan owner go for a cool down run after a fast ride home. And I doubt he'll ever open his hood to assist it's engine in ticking itself cool. You'd tell a person he's crazy for talking to his minivan, but observe a man talking to a GT500 Shelby nicknamed 'Eleanor' and suddenly he's as cool as Mike Damone from in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
So I wonder, in the name of unconditional love for one's car, what are a car enthusiast's strangest habits?
- Warming up your car and checking the car's vitals before a drive, even when your carpool hates you for making them late for work as they sit and wait for your engine to reach optimum temperature.
- Performing an inspection of your car by ear. Listening for deviations at idle, revs, during braking, and during start-up used to be a mechanic's creed in the age of carburetors and sensitive Italian sports cars.
- Caressing your car. It's a thing of beauty and you're damn right to caress you're 1937 Talbot Lago T150 SS Coupe's fender lines. Also acceptable is a tap of encouragement on the flank of your car's instrument cluster.
- Searching for the best spot in the lot. Not the one closest to the door, but the one farthest away. Where no one will park and thus no one can ding your door.
- Always reverse parking. For the viewing pleasure of passing pedestrians, and the convenience of a quick getaway.
- Sitting down in your garage with an inquisitive expression and a glass of wine. As long as you don't own any of the following vehicles: Fiat Multipla, Honda Element, Toyota Prius, Jeep Compass, Pontiac Aztek, or new Mazda 3, this practice wont draw any concerns of mental instability.
If you can think of any additional displays of car-love, or know of some frowned upon habits, let us all know by clicking the newly added COMMENTS box.